A History Of Rock’N’Roll In 100 Riffs

Alex Chadwick from Chicago Music Exchange has risked blistered fingers to burn through 100 guitar riffs in 12 minutes, to present a kind of history of rock’n’roll.

To be honest it’s a pretty solid selection, taking care of early rock’n’roll classics, then moving through Beatles, Stones, Led Zep etc until he brings it all up to date with St. Vincent and a dominant Jack White – but has he let anything slip through the net? Here’s Alex in action, with the full list further down.

About halfway through you long for the crack of a snare, but it’s an impressive exercise. Still, where’s ‘Ziggy Stardust’? ‘You Really Got Me?’ Where’s ‘Wild Thing’, for pity’s sake? And why are they implying it was Camper Van Beethoven – not the Quo – who originally recorded ‘Pictures Of Matchstick Men’?

For all its familiarity, we can still learn stuff from Chadwick’s riffola – like how much The Edge needs that echo-delay thing – but if I never hear ‘Layla’ again as long as I live it’ll be… unlikely. Let us know what you reckon, and what you think should be in there.

1. Chet Atkins, ‘Mr. Sandman’
2. Johnny Cash, ‘Folsom Prison Blues’
3. Buddy Holly, ‘Words Of Love’
4. Chuck Berry, ‘Johnny B. Goode’

5. Link Wray, ‘Rumble’
6. Eddie Cochran, ‘Summertime Blues’
7. The Chantays, ‘Pipeline’
8. Dick Dale, ‘Miserlou’
9. Surfaris, ‘Wipeout’
10. The Beatles, ‘Day Tripper’
11. The Who, ‘I Can’t Explain’
12. The Rolling Stones, ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’
13. Jimi Hendrix, ‘Purple Haze’
14. Santana, ‘Black Magic Woman’
15. The Beatles, ‘Helter Skelter’
16. Fleetwood Mac, ‘Oh Well’
17. Cream, ‘Crossroads’
18. Led Zeppelin, ‘Communication Breakdown’
19. Black Sabbath, ‘Paranoid’
20. Creedence Clearwater Revival, ‘Fortunate Sun’
21. James Gang, ‘Funk 49’
22. Led Zeppelin, ‘Immigrant Song’
23. The Rolling Stones, ‘Bitch’
24. Derek and the Dominos, ‘Layla’
25. Alice Cooper, ‘School’s Out’
26. Deep Purple, ‘Smoke On The Water’
27. Pink Floyd, ‘Money’

28. Allman Brothers, ‘Jessica’
29. ZZ Top, ‘La Grange’
30. T. Rex, ’20th Century Boy’

31. The Grateful Dead, ‘Scarlet Begonias’
32. Lynyrd Skynyrd, ‘Sweet Home Alabama’
33. Aerosmith, ‘Walk This Way’

34. Queen, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’
35. Ted Nugent, ‘Stranglehold’
36. Thin Lizzy, ‘The Boys Are Back in Town’
37. Blue Oyster Cult, ‘Don’t Fear the Reaper’
38. Kansas, ‘Carry On My Wayward Son’
39. Ramones, ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’
40. Heart, ‘Barracuda’
41. Van Halen, ‘Runnin’ With The Devil’
42. Dire Straits, ‘Sultans Of Swing’
43. The Police, ‘Message In A Bottle’
44. Neil Young, ‘Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)’

45. AC/DC, ‘Back In Black’
46. Ozzy Osbourne, ‘Crazy Train’
47. Rush, ‘Spirit Of Radio’
48. Stevie Ray Vaughan, ‘Pride And Joy’
49. Yes, ‘Owner Of A Lonely Heart’

50. Dio, ‘Holy Diver’
51. Michael Jackson, ‘Beat It’

52. Van Halen, ‘Hot For Teacher’
53. The Smiths, ‘What Difference Does It Make?’
54. Bruce Springsteen, ‘Glory Days’
55. Dire Straits, ‘Money For Nothing’
56. Bon Jovi, ‘You Give Love A Bad Name’
57. REM, ‘The One I Love’

58. U2, ‘Where the Streets Have No Name’

59. Guns N’ Roses, ‘Welcome To The Jungle’
60. Guns N’ Roses, ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’
61. Motley Crue, ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’
62. Living Colour, ‘Cult Of Personality’
63. Motley Crue, ‘Kickstart My Heart’
64. Tom Petty, ‘Runnin’ Down A Dream’
65. Camper Van Beethoven, ‘Pictures Of Matchstick Men’
66. AC/DC, ‘Thunderstruck’
67. The Black Crowes, ‘Twice As Hard’
68. Eric Johnson, ‘Cliffs Of Dover’
69. Metallica, ‘Enter Sandman’
70. Alice In Chains, ‘Man In The Box’
71. Nirvana, ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’
72. Red Hot Chili Peppers, ‘Give it Away’
73. Pearl Jam, ‘Even Flow’
74. Soundgarden, ‘Outshined’

75. Rage Against The Machine, ‘Killing In The Name’
76. Stone Temple Pilots, ‘Sex Type Thing’

77. Lenny Kravitz, ‘Are You Gonna Go My Way?’
78. Green Day, ‘Welcome To Paradise’
79. Toadies, ‘Possum Kingdom’

80. Weezer, ‘Say it Ain’t So’
81. Smashing Pumpkins, ‘Zero’
82. Foo Fighters, ‘Monkey Wrench’
83. Marcy Playground, ‘Sex And Candy’
84. Santana, ‘Smooth’

85. Red Hot Chili Peppers, ‘Scar Tissue’
86. Cake, ‘Short Skirt, Long Jacket’
87. The Shins, ‘Turn A Square’
88. The White Stripes, ‘Seven Nation Army’
89. Muse, ‘Hysteria’

90. The Darkness, ‘I Believe In A Thing Called Love’

91. Mastodon, ‘Blood And Thunder’
92. Jet, ‘Are You Gonna Be My Girl?’
93. The Strokes, ‘Reptilia’
94. Franz Ferdinand, ‘Take Me Out’
95. Modest Mouse, ‘Float On’

96. The White Stripes, ‘Blue Orchid’
97. Green Day, ‘Boulevard Of Broken Dreams’
98. The Raconteurs, ‘Steady As She Goes’
99. The Black Keys, ‘I Got Mine’
100. St. Vincent, ‘Cruel’